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Blizzard of ’78: Where Were You 34 Years Ago Today?

Nearly three decades ago we were blanketed with 27 inches of snow.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 34 years since Massachusetts was hit with the Blizzard of '78, but the stories will withstand the test of time.

On Feb. 6, 1978, the area was blanketed with a record 27 inches of snow with the added bonus of hurricane force winds. The storm began the morning of Feb. 6 and lasted through the following evening. It was a storm that was never really predicted to be this large, and yet from it one good thing came – we learned about emergency preparedness.

The snow came down so quickly (at a rate of an inch an hour) thousands of motorists were stranded in snowdrifts as they drove down Rte. 128. Roads throughout the state were impassible and cars were abandoned at every turn.

For those of us who were old enough to remember, the memories differ. The motorist stuck in his car for hours on the highway, the family wondering where that person was, to a community paralyzed by Mother Nature in a storm no one ever expected. 

As a child it was almost magical because we didn't understand the danger. Our parents shielded us from the chaos and we didn't know people lost their lives in that storm. Looking back as an adult, it's terrifying how unprepared we were for this event. 

Thirty-four years ago we had 27 inches of snow. Today, the forecast is saying temps will be in the 50s. I’ll take the 50-degree temps over what happened here a little more than three decades ago.

We would love to hear your stories from the Blizzard of '78 and see your photos. You can upload your photos directly to our image gallery and tell us your stories in the comments section.  

Editorial note: this article and the comments section are shared with the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown and South End Patch.com sites. 

Kasey Hariman February 06, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Wow, that's an amazing story, Thomas. Do you remember what kind of critical services your fares were providing?
Thomas O February 07, 2012 at 03:05 AM
The most consistently active fares were for the telephone company - picking up operators and dropping them off home. I would pick up three at 225 Franklin and they would be going to the south shore as an example - Quincy, Dedham, Milton etc. and then when I was out there I would pick up others and bring them in to work - just non stop fares - cabbie heaven.
pj murphy February 07, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Took 2 days to get a flight out and back to Virginia. pj
Kasey Hariman February 07, 2012 at 06:15 PM
How times have changed! I think today if the blizzard hit and you were still driving a cab, you'd be driving cell-phone tower repairmen and 911 operators around, not regular phone operators. Agree?
BostonMaggie February 08, 2012 at 12:16 AM
I was a senior at Pope John and had just started working at A&P in Thompson Square. They brought milk & dairy in from Hood's on some kind of sled contraption. I didn't see it, I just remember the dairy guys talking aobut it. And those critical passes were kind of a joke. If you wanted one, you just had to ask. Most people didn't, lol!

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